Friday, December 12, 2014

Foodie Fridays: Chocolate-Covered Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

I try not to bake cookies too often, but this is the holiday season and baking has always been part of the festivities for me.  I enjoy baking, as opposed to meal preparation which I consider to be a bit of a chore.  My freshman year at college I baked Christmas cookies in the dorm oven at the end of finals week to take home as a gift for my family, and I have tried to continue the holiday baking tradition ever since.  Because of our old Dalmatian's health issues this year, I can't spend a lot of time in the kitchen, but cookies bake pretty quickly and I usually cut cookie recipe amounts in half as we do not need so many for just the two of us.

My husband loves oatmeal cookies and I was looking to use up some chocolate-covered raisins, so this recipe was the result.  The original recipe (which was printed on the oatmeal container) calls for shortening, which I do not use, but my husband had purchased a jar of coconut oil, which is solid like shortening at room temperature, so I thought I would give it a try in these cookies.  I heated the jar in the microwave to melt the oil, and measured out 1/2 cup of the resulting liquid.  I was expecting the cookies to taste a bit like coconut as the oil had a noticeable coconut aroma, but to my surprise I did not taste coconut at all.  The cookies are light and crisp with no oily texture, and I was quite pleased with the result.  I will try using coconut oil in other cookie recipes, including those that call for butter, to see how they turn out.  Who knows, I may just end up preferring this new ingredient in all of my cookie recipes!

Chocolate-Covered Raisin Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 C. coconut oil
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. brown sugar
1 egg
1 T. milk
3/4 tsp. vanilla
3/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
2 C. rolled oats (I used quick cooking oats)
1/2 C. chocolate-covered raisins

In a large bowl, combine the coconut oil and sugars, stirring until smooth.  Blend in the next three ingredients.  Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt and beat well.  Add the oats and chocolate-covered raisins.  Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (one-inch diameter) two inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes, turning the sheets halfway through cooking time for even browning.  Remove from the oven, let stand for 5 minutes, and remove to a wire rack to cool completely.  Makes 2 dozen cookies.

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